Collector - May 2020 - 29

THE IMPLICATIONS:
HOW YOU CAN USE
GLASSER AND GADELHAK
Glasser and Gadelhak can change a
defendant's approach to TCPA litigation.
When the D.C. Circuit decided ACA Int'l
v. FCC in 2018, few would have thought
that the legal world would still be waiting
on guidance from the FCC two years later.
The ensuing years, however, have seen
numerous defendant-friendly decisions
from the appellate courts, with Glasser
and Gadelhak continuing the trend.
Perhaps most importantly, these
decisions even further marginalize the
9th Circuit's decision in Marks. Glasser
and Gadelhak analyze many of the same
arguments accepted by the 9th Circuit-
statutory language, legislative history,
practical considerations-and politely
reject them all. No doubt that defendants
urging courts to find in their favor will
caution against reading the TCPA in a
way that looks "more like surgery" than
statutory interpretation.
Glasser and Gadelhak can also help with
a company's TCPA compliance strategies.
In a world where companies must walk the
line between Glasser and Marks, human
intervention remains the key to compliance
in the autodialing context. Putting aside
the language of the statute, the 11th Circuit
nonetheless found that the telephony at
issue could not qualify as an ATDS because

it is not automatic, i.e., the telephony
requires human intervention.
In the words of the 11th Circuit: "An
employee's choice initiates every call. Yes,
the system dials the numbers itself. But no
one would think that telling a smartphone
to dial the phone number of a stored contact
(or several contacts) means the smartphone
has automatically dialed the number."
Even in the 9th Circuit, human
intervention can still be a winning
argument. Marks did not foreclose the issue
of human intervention, but noted that it
takes more than a human adding numbers
to a dialing platform. In the view of the 9th
Circuit, the sweet spot seems to be a "clicker
agent." This type of telephony, where an
agent must physically click a dialog box to
place each individual call, has defeated the
TCPA even in plaintiff-friendly districts
like the Central and Southern Districts of
California.
The D.C. Circuit's decision in ACA Int'l
v. FCC was not the death-knell that many
thought it would be for the TCPA. However,
both Glasser and Gadelhak-from circuits
known for their expansive reading of the
TCPA pre-ACA Int'l -show that time
may be running out for overly expansive
interpretations of the statute.
David N. Anthony is a partner, James K.
Trefil is of counsel and Brooke K. Conkle is
an associate at Troutman Sanders LLP.

1

Both Glasser and
Gadelhak can change
a defendant's approach
to TCPA litigation.

2

Human intervention
remains the key
to compliance in the
autodialing context.

3

The sweet spot seems to
be a "clicker agent," even
in plaintiff-friendly districts
like the Central and Southern
Districts of California.

COLLECTOR 05.20

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